Brown Skin Artists - Street Stories

Brown Skin Artists is a Latin duo out of Berkeley made of Big Chuco and Mr. Bago. Their debut project called "Barrio Funk" was originally released by Chingazo Records in 1994 and was available only locally on tape. We're not used to review a cassette material, so that's why this article will refer to "Barrio Funk"'s re-edition from 2005. The new version with a new title - "Street Stories" - was refreshed by Criminal Records, a well known San Jose label. They put... (read more)
Akazie - The Singles EP

Akazie has been doing rap for almost two decades and he's still a rather underground and underrated artist. If you didn't have a chance to get familiar with this Northern California musician, I will try to start this article with a little bio and a summary of his discography. Akazie was born in Houston, Texas; 7 years later moved to California - Elk Grove, the second largest city in the Sacramento county. This place he recalls in his lyrics most often, but he also lived in Bay Area: El... (read more)
Erupt & Deok - Longevity

"Longevity" is a project from two rappers outta Stockton, Ca in the 209 area code. Erupt (earlier recording as Young Erupt) is quite a mature and experienced artist, who - if I'm not mistaken - debuted on a track with T-Nutty that was featured on a well known compilation project called "Central Valley Bad Boyzz" back in 2002. His first album "Give Or Take" is also dated for that year, but I'm not even sure if it was ever officially released; you can listen to it... (read more)
Deok - Where My Heart's At

If you had asked me a couple of years ago about the northern California hip-hop scene I'd have blindly answered "I ain't really feeling it; it's not my style". However as time went by more and more projects of this genre had crossed through my audio system, widening my perspective and knowledge. More frequent converse with hip-hop appeared to be advantageous, because today I can honestly admit that except for Equipto (who I've always found a really excellent emcee) there are far... (read more)
Baby Bash & Frankie J - Sangria

If you regularly visit you should definitely know that although we mostly support underground rap scene, at times we also check what's going on in the mainstream part of the Northern/Central California rap game. Well, truth is that there aren't too many worldwide famous artists out of this area; I can count on one hand rappers that - let's say - a casual European passerby would recognize. Among those most popular rap musicians I'd point out Baby Bash, who was born and... (read more)
Gemimac - The Gemimac Show

San Francisco's Mission District rap scene is mostly known for its Latin / homeboy representatives, therefore you should recognize solid artists from this area like Mr. Kee, The Goodfelonz (Swinla, Mr. Redeyez, Cutthroat), Pistol Cee, Mousie or Gangsta Flea. You might have also heard of a few other cats from this part of SFC, like Friscasso, Los Da Rockstar, Young Mix, Cuddie Cut or Rob Baysicc, who (especially the last one) have already recorded some promising albums. Lately I've had a... (read more)
1 A.M. - Invisible
If you have at least peaked the list of reviews we wrote and published on, you have probably noticed that we've had few opportunities to check out the feminine part of the California rap scene. It's not only because rap is dominated by men, but we simply don't feel women on the mic (sorry, no disrespect, it's just the way it is). I can count on one hand verses by a femcee that I was really impressed by. Therefore I was rather skeptical about this underground release from a... (read more)
King Reegz - Clubber Lang
King Reegz aka Regal is a San Francisco native with quite a substantial discography. He debuted in 2004 with "Tha Campaign" project, then a year later he dropped "The Arson Report"; in 2008 he released "Guess Who's Bizzack", while in 2010 he recorded a collaboration album with M Dot Brando. In 2012 the rapper changed his stage name to King Reegz and brought "Reeg-Wu" mixtape. Same year he came out with another duet release recorded with Zak1 ("Real... (read more)
C-Smoke - Dedication Ta Da Souljas

I feel that for the last few years (or even longer) rap genre, including Bay Area scene, has been delivering the same type of shit all over again. Perhaps not all products are wack, but simply most of the songs, cds, beats, covers, titles etc. are yet another hoary old chestnut. The few exceptions represent niche and underground rap streams that are not following the most popular trends and take risk to deliver something unique. Among such artists you may find C-Smoke reppin' 831 area code.... (read more)
M Dot Brando - International Dot

M Dot Brando, back in the days also known as Young Mar, debuted in '98 on an underground release from the group Triple X Playaz titled "Urban Legends". Three years later the trio dropped its more official and popular project called "Jiggy, Killa & Mar", while "Shots Out" came out in 2005. Brando's discography also includes a series of mixtapes ("Freedom Of Speech"), duet cds (recorded along with Zak 1 and Regal) and of course solo products, out of... (read more)
Big Tone - From A Different Era

It's definitely not the first time, but might be one of the last (will explain later), when I talk about Big Tone's album in a similar way. If you had a chance to get familiar with our reviews of a few latest releases from this Antioch representative, then you should know that the founder of Sav It Out Records is imo one of the most solid and consistent craftsmen of the homeboy rap scene. I'll quickly remind you that he debuted back in 2004 with a solo titled "Merceless" and later... (read more)
Hex - The Hex Files

I've been complaining about the contemporary rap quite often lately. It is almost a rule that when I grab a new album it appears to be full of strange, modern features, like for instance recently popular way of rapping full of pauses (yes, the one that you can hear on TV), flat, computer beats and sounds, or a scarce number of songs. The more I'm confused with today's rap shape, the more I return to the 90's music and value its craft even more than ever. Nevertheless from time to time... (read more)
A Plus Tha Kid - Bangerz And Blammiez

A Plus Tha Kid is a new and rather unfamiliar artist outta Fresno, however Bay Area rap fans could hear about his debut project that dropped in 2014 and was recorded with a recognizable Livewire figure Shady Nate. The hereby "Bangerz And Blammiez" - his first solo - was released two years later, yet part of the material itself was recorded much earlier; some tracks are even 5 years old. It is said that the album was initially supposed to be a mixtape rather than an official solo;... (read more)
Troublez - Grandma's House
Troublez is a West Side San Jose representative who's been active in the rap scene for almost a decade now. He's released solo albums (e.g. "Thug Poet", "I'm Loving Nothing"), a mixtape, compilations ("The Network", "Tha Allstarz") and the most recent collabo with Lil Coner titled "My Heart's Black". We've had an opportunity to write reviews (read here) of some of those.

The hereby... (read more)
C-Dubb presents - The Mob Hour 2

I have to admit that while writing this article my collection of cds from a Sacramento representative C-Dubb has huge gaps. Long time ago I was quite up-to-date with this Oak Park artist and I can clearly remember my fascination with one of his first releases called "Networkin" that was recorded along with RITZ back in 2002. I'll just remind you that the rapper debuted in 1997 with a tape titled "Kalifornia: Home Of The Body Bag"; later a whole list of projects came out:... (read more)
Casper Capone & Unknown present - The After Party: Family Reunion 2.9

In the end of 2013, a young, yet already recognizable (at least on the homeboy rap scene) label called Gwap City released the first part of its compilation series - "The Family Reunion". Shortly after, in the beginning of 2014, the sophomore installment comes out, which by the way was most probably done together with its predecessor, at least front cover artwork seems alike. Somewhere around the middle of the year the family reunites once again, obviously avoiding number 3 for its... (read more)